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Sponsored Conversations Are For The Uninspired

In 2008, I wrote the fact that paid blogging is a lose-lose situation. I stick with everything written in that post. Upon noticing a slew of new services – including those which allow companies to pay for Tweets (it’s laughable in-and-of itself that anyone is gullible enough to pay for that) I’ve been reflecting further on the idea of sponsored conversations.

If you read no further in this post, just consider this point: you can’t commoditize something as organic as a conversation. The second you do, the people having those conversations cease to be people and transform into shills. You might trick some users but it’s not authentic and there is zero trust involved. It’s manipulation, not conversation.

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Mass Media Vs. Niche Media

I rather like having discussions with Mitch Joel, he gives me good food-for-thought. That’s because we grew up in different times – I have only known a digital society, he has seen both a digital and analog. Due to this we tend to look at things through a different lens.

Previously when he argued print is not dead, I made the point that it may not be dead, but it’s on life support and that digital is now the master copy.

Mitch wrote something else that struck me recently. He made several different points so I’m going to respond to a few parts bit by bit:

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September 20, 2009 Author Adam Singer In Opinions, Randomness
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DRM Is Failure

DRM is failure. It will never work because the whole concept of digital rights management goes counter to the nature of an open system. Every industry which has previously tried to use it has failed miserably and future attempts will be no different.

Ignore the fact that DRM disrespects customers and essentially treats them like criminals for a minute and consider what it represents: an attempt to close/control the most useful and beneficial network our society has seen because it disrupted a dated business model. DRM tries to treat the web as if the same rules of tangible media apply – which of course is not the case.

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August 1, 2009 Author Adam Singer In Opinions, Randomness
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Blogging Never Went Away

Looks like some of the early adopter crowd are waking up from their Twitter-induced dreams.

There are several conversations around the web about it this week, but I’ll sum the reasons you should blog and not just Tweet simply: microblogging (or any social platform where you don’t control the rules) doesn’t replace the power of an independent web publishing platform where you control the vertical and the horizontal. Rather, if used properly it actually makes your independent outlet that much more powerful.

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July 19, 2009 Author Adam Singer In Blogging, Opinions, Randomness
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The 33 Strategies Of War

I’m a big fan of psychologist and author Robert Greene. Previously, I deconstructed his landmark book, the 48 laws of power, and interpreted how the laws apply to blogging.

It was a pleasant surprise for me to discover he has written two other books outlining laws applicable to the areas of seduction and war. War strategy is especially compelling because businesses take cues from military strategic successes in areas such as how they react to changes in the marketplace from competition and how they position their external communications.

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June 20, 2009 Author Adam Singer In Opinions, Randomness
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The Psychology Of Parking

I’m reading a fascinating book titled Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt. It’s essentially the psychology/sociology of traffic, and offers the most in-depth look at interactions expressed through driving I’ve ever read.

An interesting bit from the book explains something you’ve probably experienced. Andrew Velkey, a psychology professor at Virginia’s Christopher Newport University uncovered the following conclusion after he studied the behavior of parkers at a Wal-Mart in Mississippi (paraphrased):

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May 22, 2009 Author Adam Singer In Opinions, Randomness